Block Play Performance Among Preschoolers As a Predictor of Later School Achievement in Mathematics

To read the full-text of this research, you can request a copy directly from the authors.


In 1982, an intact group of 37 preschoolers (age 4) attending a play-oriented preschool were tested using the Lunzer Five Point Play Scale (1955) to obtain a block performance measure. To statistically control for social economic status (SES), IQ and gender, the McCarty Scales of Children's Abilities (1972) were given, the gender determined, and an SES score obtained (Hollingshead & Redlick, 1958). In 1998, after these same participants had completed high school, their records were obtained. Outcome measures for the 3rd, 5th, and 7th grades included standardized tests and report card grades in mathematics. High school achievement was determined by using 1) number of courses, 2) number of honors courses, 3) advanced math courses taken, and 4) grades. While controlling for IQ and gender, the block performance measure was correlated and regressed against these outcome variables. No significance was found at the 3rd- and 5th-grade levels by evaluating report card grades and standardized math scores. At 7th-grade, there was a significant correlation between blocks and standardized math scores, but not report card grades. At the high school level, there was a positive correlation with all high school outcome variables. There was no correlation between block performance and standardized math tests or grades at the elementary school levels. However, at the beginning of middle school, 7th grade, and in the high school grades, a positive correlation between preschool block performance and math achievement was demonstrated.

No full-text available

Request Full-text Paper PDF

To read the full-text of this research,
you can request a copy directly from the authors.

... Most prior research has focused on measuring building skill by, for example, coding children's accuracy in copying models (Stiles & Stern, 2001); coding the strategies used to generate block constructions (e.g., forming a reiterative relation in one direction, Stiles & Stern, 2001); or examining children's ability to use blocks flexibly (Kamii, Miyakawa, & Kato, 2004). Although some studies have focused only on the accuracy of the end product in block building and its relation to later mathematical skills (Verdine et al., 2017;Wolfgang, Stannard, & Jones, 2001), the process of creating block designs may provide additional information about spatial skills that is not accessible by only scoring their accuracy. Prior work examining the complexity of children's constructions and the process by which the constructions were built (e.g., Stiles & Stern, 2001;Kamii et al., 2004;Ramani, Zippert, Schweitzer, & Pan, 2014) suggests that there are differences in the approach children use, but these studies did not explore whether the differences predict spatial or mathematical outcomes in subsequent years. ...
... Structured and unstructured play with blocks and similar puzzles is related to a wide variety of skills including mathematical skills (e.g., Schmitt, Korucu, Napoli, Bryant, & Purpura, 2018;Wolfgang et al., 2001), divergent thinking and problem solving (Pepler & Ross, 1981), and social skills (Owens, Granader, Humphrey, & Baron-Cohen, 2008;Legoff & Sherman, 2006). Yet, structured block play has garnered the most attention for its role in spatial development (Caldera et al., 1999;Verdine et al., 2017). ...
... The researchers speculated that during block-building experiences, children need to count the number of blocks and visualize where blocks go in the structure before placing them. Thus, block building may provide children with direct mathematical experiences, such as counting, sorting, measuring, and classifying (e.g., Park, Chae, & Boyd, 2008;Wolfgang et al., 2001;Yelland, 2001). ...
Full-text available
Block-building skills at age 3 are related to spatial skills at age 5 (citation removed) and spatial skills in grade school are linked to later success in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields. Though studies have focused on block-building behaviors and design complexity, few have examined these variables in relation to future spatial and mathematical skills or have considered how children go about copying the model in detail. This study coded 3-year-olds’ (N = 102) block-building behaviors and structural complexity on 3-D trials of the Test of Spatial Assembly (TOSA). It explored whether individual differences in children’s building behaviors and the complexity of their designs related to accuracy in copying the model block structures or their spatial and mathematical skills at ages 4 and 5. Our findings reveal that block-building behaviors were associated with concurrent and later spatial skills while structural complexity was associated with concurrent and later spatial skills as well as concurrent mathematics skills. Future work might teach children to engage in the apparently successful block-building strategies examined in this research to evaluate a potential causal mechanism.
... The ten remaining studies were conducted in classroom settings. Six studies introduced new activities/ lessons that required additional resources like technology or special materials (Fleer 2000;Kazakoff et al. 2012;Evangelou 2011, 2015;Gold et al. 2015;McDonald and Howell 2012) and four were conducted with authentic classroom materials (Bairaktarova et al. 2012;Brophy and Evangelou 2007;Wolfgang et al. 2001;Verdine et al. 2014). By comparing findings across the studies, Lippard et al. (2017) identified two common themes. ...
... Other studies have commonly highlighted block areas and block play as a natural home for engineering thinking (Ferrara et al. 2011;Gold et al. 2015). Further, studies have highlighted the benefit of block play for children's later math achievement, including spatial reasoning (Ferrara et al. 2011;Verdine et al. 2014;Wolfgang et al. 2001). It should be noted that, however, children's engineering habits of mind were observed throughout the classroom. ...
... Future research must continue to address measurement issues related to operationalizing and quantifying children's pre-engineering thinking. Finally, we acknowledge a potential bias within the classroom observation data to more frequently identify engineering habits of mind in block play than other types of play because of expectations about the location and type of engineering play that has been established in previous research (e.g., Brophy and Evangelou 2007;Wolfgang et al. 2001). ...
Full-text available
Young children engage in pre-engineering thinking and play in their day-to-day activities. However, early childhood teachers often miss opportunities to facilitate and extend this type of play. In order to support teachers in this undertaking, the current study aimed to answer the question: What does pre-engineering thinking look like in preschool? Nine preschool classrooms were observed, and mixed-methods, multiple case study analyses were conducted with classroom observation data as well as teacher-reported data. Our findings indicate that children engage in engineering habits of mind throughout the classroom, children’s access to materials and time to generate their own problems of interest are crucial, and teachers were often uninvolved when children demonstrated engineering habits of mind. Notably, teachers with > 5 years of teaching experience and lower teaching efficacy related to behavior management and engaging children in learning activities had classrooms with zero or few occurrences of engineering habits of mind. These results suggest that teachers may need support in engaging children in learning activities and managing classroom discipline before they undertake engineering-specific professional development. Topics to address in continuing professional development should focus on classroom environments, materials, and interactions that encourage children in generating and solving problems of their own interest as a way to facilitate pre-engineering thinking.
... In fact, many early childhood education classrooms include a dedicated space, or learning center, specifically for block play; likely the result of recommendations from the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC; Kersh, Casey, & Young, 2008;NAEYC, 2002). A growing body of correlational evidence has linked block play to mathematics, literacy, and spatial skills (Snow, Eslami, & Park, 2015;Verdine, Golinkoff, Hirsh-Pasek, & Newcombe, 2014;Wolfgang, Stannard, & Jones, 2001); however, no research to date has explored whether block play may be related to execu-tive functioning (EF). Although some experimental work suggests that engaging in block play in preschool is related to gains in spatial skills , no previous research has explored a causal relation between block play and mathematics and EF. ...
... Block play as an opportunity to enhance mathematics and EF NAEYC and the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics emphasize the importance of shared play as an opportunity for children to exchange ideas, and these groups recognize that block play in particular is a valuable way for children to engage in shared mathematical learning (NAEYC, 2002). In early childhood, block play is thought to provide children with opportunities to engage in many mathematical activities, such as counting, sorting, measuring, and classifying (Wolfgang et al., 2001;Yelland, 2011), all of which are important for learning mathematical concepts, including numerical skills and geometry. Correlational research suggests that complexity of block play is related to early mathematics skills (Trawick-Smith et al., 2016) and that early block play performance is associated with later standardized mathematics scores (Wolfgang et al., 2001). ...
... In early childhood, block play is thought to provide children with opportunities to engage in many mathematical activities, such as counting, sorting, measuring, and classifying (Wolfgang et al., 2001;Yelland, 2011), all of which are important for learning mathematical concepts, including numerical skills and geometry. Correlational research suggests that complexity of block play is related to early mathematics skills (Trawick-Smith et al., 2016) and that early block play performance is associated with later standardized mathematics scores (Wolfgang et al., 2001). Further, young children's ability to complete a task of assembling interlocking blocks is predictive of their short-and long-term mathematics performance (Pirrone & Di Nuovo, 2014;Verdine et al., 2014;Wolfgang, Stannard, & Jones, 2003). ...
The current study investigated the extent to which a semi-structured block play intervention supported growth in mathematics and executive functioning for preschool children using a randomized controlled design. A secondary aim was to explore whether differential intervention effects emerged for children from various socioeconomic backgrounds, indicated by parental education level. Participants included59 preschool children. Children ranged in age from 38 to 69 months (M = 55.20, SD = 7.17), and 56% were female. Results from regression models indicated that, although not statistically significant, children who participated in the intervention demonstrated greater gains in three mathematics skills (numeracy, shape recognition, and mathematical language) and two indicators of executive functioning (cognitive flexibility and a measure of global executive functioning) compared to children in a control group. Further, three significant interactions were found, suggesting that for numeracy, cognitive flexibility, and global executive functioning, children of parents with low educational attainment benefited the most from intervention participation. These findings provide preliminary evidence for the effectiveness of a semi-structured block play intervention for improving children’s school readiness and have implications for including intentional instruction using blocks in preschool classrooms.
... The various research studies below demonstrate the relationship between spatial reasoning and mathematical ability. For example, one research study found that the quality of block play at four years of age was a predictor of high school mathematics achievement (Wolfgang, Stannard, & Jones, 2001). Another study found a relationship between young children's construction skills (such as playing with jigsaw puzzles and blocks) and strong number sense as well as success in solving mathematical word problems (Nath & Szücs, 2014). ...
... Complex mathematical problem solving rests on spatial reasoning skills and links between spatial and mathematical skills being established (Gunderson, Ramirez, Beilock, & Levine, 2012). Spatial thinking, or mentally manipulating information about the structure of the shapes and spaces in one's environment, is critical for developing skills that support STEM learning (Newcombe, 2010;Wolfgang, Stannard, & Jones, 2001). By developing the spatial reasoning skills of preservice teachers, these skills should carry over into their work in the classroom with their elementary students. ...
Spatial reasoning involves those skills that allow one to mentally picture and manipulate objects which plays a unique role in learning and succeeding in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics fields (STEM). Despite the urgent need for strong spatial reasoning skills, our current education system spends little time fostering elementary students’ visual and spatial reasoning skills. This is becoming increasingly problematic as the need to become literate in the STEM fields has never been greater. The purpose of this qualitative study was to examine the spatial reasoning skills that preservice teachers demonstrated and how their spatial reasoning skills were used in the enactment of the tasks of teaching. Thirty-two preservice teachers completed a spatial reasoning task. Each preservice teacher then teamed with their practicum partner, created an adapted plan using the same spatial reasoning task, and enacted their plan with an elementary student in Grades K-5. Finding from this study indicate that the spatial reasoning skills of preservice teachers are weak, which hinders flexible thinking when observing elementary students engaged in a spatial reasoning task. How learners represent and connect pieces of knowledge is a critical factor in whether they will understand it deeply and can use it in problem solving. Advisor: Lorraine M. Males
... An example of measuring spatial skills is the block building task . A systematic use of tasks related to block building has shown to be an effective way to measure intelligence ) and a good predictor of academic achievement (Casey et al., 2008;Stannard et al., 2001;Wolfgang et al., 2001;Wolfgang, Stannard, & Jones, 2003). ...
... Furthermore, block building is one of the most common activities of children at preschool age (Casey et al., 2008;Wolfgang et al., 2001). Therefore, children from both low and high socioeconomic backgrounds are likely to find this activity familiar at this age (Kamii, Miyakawa, & Kato, 2004). ...
... But children are natural engineers, too, wanting to build things and design solutions, and this type of play can have beneficial effects in the long term. For example, preschool block building predicts math achievement as far out as high school (Wolfgang et al., 2001). ...
... Early engineering is a relatively young research field, although block building has been widely studied. For example, preschoolers' competence building with blocks predicts the number of mathematics courses they take and their grades in high school (Wolfgang et al., 2001). Further, developmental progressions for block building are well established (Sarama & Clements, 2009b). ...
Full-text available
Research Findings: Educators declare their commitment to high-quality education for all children. Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) has been increasingly included as critical topics, even for young children. However, there are exceptions, especially the provision of developmentally appropriate STEM experiences to children with disabilities (CWD). In this article, we review evidence concerning this equity gap, including the importance of STEM education to CWD. We find that the early years provide an exceptional opportunity to introduce STEM, but that this potential is often left unrealized, especially for young vulnerable children, who live in poverty, are members of linguistic and ethnic minority groups, or are CWD (some with particular disabilities in STEM domains). Research also indicates the success of some educational approaches. Practice or Policy: Research and development in each of the STEM domains, as well as interdisciplinary approaches provides directions for both policy and practice. For example, both need to change to reflect importance of STEM for all young children, especially CWD, the need to change harmful beliefs, and the positive effects of approaches based on learning trajectories. We conclude with an introduction of a new center to support inclusive innovation in early education in STEM.
... With respect to developmental changes in the magnitude of these relations, it has often been proposed that VSS becomes increasingly associated with mathematics across development (Mix & Cheng, 2012). In line with this conclusion, some studies have shown that relations between spatial skills and mathematics became indeed stronger with increasing age (e.g., Li & Geary, 2013;Wolfgang, Stannard, & Jones, 2001). However, other studies showed contrary results. ...
... Few studies investigated whether these associations of EFs and VSS on mathematics change across age and results to date are heterogeneous. That is, for EFs (e.g., Cragg et al., 2017;Geary, 2011b;Stipek & Valentino, 2015) and for VSS (e.g., Cragg et al., 2017;Hawes et al., 1018;Mix et al., 2016;Wolfgang et al., 2001), there is no clear evidence whether the magnitudes of relations to mathematics change or remain stable across age. The current findings demonstrate that relations between EFs and mathematics are age-invariant (for similar results, see Cragg et al., 2017). ...
Full-text available
Children’s mathematical achievement depends on their domain-specific abilities and their domain-general skills such as executive functions (EFs) and visual-spatial skills (VSS). Research indicates that these two domain-general skills predict mathematical achievement. However, it is unclear whether these skills are differently associated with mathematical achievement across a large age range. The current cross-sectional study answered this question using a large, representative sample aged 5-20 years (N = 1754). EFs, VSS, and mathematical achievement were assessed using the Intelligence and Development Scales–2. Hierarchical regression analyses were computed with EFs and VSS as predictor variables and mathematical achievement as dependent variable. We examined (non-) linear effects and interactions of EFs and VSS with age. Results indicated that EFs and VSS were distinctly associated with mathematical achievement above and beyond effects of age, sex, maternal education, and verbal reasoning. Effects of EFs were linear and age-invariant. Effects of VSS were curvilinear and stronger in adolescents than in children. Our results indicated that EFs and VSS related differently to mathematical proficiency across age, suggesting a varying impact on mathematics across age.
... Similarly, a preliminary report from Farmer et al. (2013) indicated that spatial performance on the TOSA at 3 years is significantly correlated with a combined mathematics measure, at 5 years. Wolfgang, Stannard, and Jones (2001) demonstrated that spatial play in the pre-school years, in particular adaptiveness and integration in block play, is associated with mathematics achievement at 12 years. However, these results should be interpreted cautiously as interpretation of free block play is subjective and subject to errors. ...
... However, these results should be interpreted cautiously as interpretation of free block play is subjective and subject to errors. Furthermore, block play does not exclusively measure spatial thinking as it is influenced by a range of cognitive skills including attention and executive functions (Wolfgang et al., 2001). ...
Conference Paper
There is evidence to suggest that associations exist between spatial skills and mathematics in pre-school and adult populations. However, relatively few studies explore these associations in primary school aged children. The experimental studies presented in this thesis investigated the developmental relations between spatial and mathematical skills in children aged 5 to 10 years, including the transfer of spatial training gains to mathematics. Associations between spatial thinking and mathematics were observed longitudinally and cross-sectionally. Secondary data analysis of the Millennium Cohort Study, a longitudinal study of children in the United Kingdom, indicated that spatial performance at 5 years was a significant longitudinal predictor of mathematics at 7 years. Spatial skills explained 15% of the variation in mathematics achievement at 7 years even after controlling for gender, socioeconomic status and language skills(N = 12099). Findings from a cross-sectional study of children aged 6 to 10 years found that spatial skills explained 7% to 13% of the variation across three mathematics performance measures (standardised mathematics, approximate number system, and number line estimation skills) (N = 155). Some relations reported between spatial and mathematical skills were subdomain specific. While spatial scaling was a significant predictor of all mathematics outcomes, disembedding was associated with standardised mathematics performance only. Certain spatial-mathematical relations were also sensitive to developmental age. Mental rotation had a greater influence on mathematics for younger compared to older children. These insights on the selectivity and developmental sensitivity of spatial-mathematical relations were used to design an intervention study, which targeted mental rotation and spatial scaling skills. In this study, spatial training led to gains in the spatial skill trained (near transfer), transfer of gains to un-trained spatial domains (intermediate transfer), and transfer of gains to mathematical domains (far transfer). It was concluded that spatial skills have a causal role in mathematics outcomes in childhood.
... Findings from the above studies suggest that it is possible for students to invoke the principle of the balance as an embodiment for helping them learn fundamental concepts related to solving linear equations with one unknown. Wolfgang, Stannard, and Jones (2001) attempted to establish a correlation between the levels of young children's block play and their performance in mathematics in later school levels. The authors conceptualized play to encompass three aspects including: 1) Sensorimotor play (large and small motor play) 2) Symbolic play-involving representational abilities and including the fantasy play of socio-dramatic play 3) Construction play-involving symbolic product formation with blocks, Legos, carpentry, and similar materials. ...
... In the HEAT program, it is possible that students' direct modeling with algebra tiles and pictorial representations, similar to a child's play, might enable students to develop cognitive structures that can support their future work in algebra and geometry. Wolfgang, Stannard, and Jones (2001) findings seem to confirm Vlassis' (2002) view that when students use representational models to learn mathematical concepts, the operative mental image effect is long lasting. ...
Full-text available
In this study we investigated the relationship between urban eighth grade students’ Hands-On Exposure to Algebraic Thinking (HEAT) competition performance and their subsequent performance on standardized measures of mathematics achievement (ACT Composite Score, ACT Math Scores, and Louisiana Algebra End of Course Exams). It was found that the pictorial portion of the project was a relatively consistent predictor of participants’ high school academic performance. That is, as participants’ HEAT pictorial competition scores increased, so did their ACT composite, ACT math scores, and Algebra End of Course Exam Scores. Findings from the HEAT Project may contribute to conversations centered on ways to expose urban students to creative, social, hands-on pedagogy in non-evaluative contexts in order to position students for both immediate and long-term mathematics success without sacrificing intellectual rigor.
... Construction open-ended play offers children the opportunity to "classify, measure, order, count, use fractions and become aware of depth, width, length, symmetry, shape and space" (p. 174) and understand concepts of space and physical properties of objects (Wolfgang et al., 2001). First, block play facilitated students to learn numeracy which includes counting, comparison, and operations (Schmitt et al., 2018). ...
... It offers a learning environment for children to plan the building structure, solve problems in the face of challenges and negotiate with peers (Yelland, 2011), which are important elements of self-regulation (Miyake et al., 2000). Moreover, block play could provide children with opportunities to practice mental representations of objects and products (Wolfgang et al., 2001). One of the focuses of this study is self-regulation, an important executive functioning skill to facilitate children to control their behaviour (Sniehotta, 2009) and manage their emotions to make good decisions (Fitzsimons & Bargh, 2004). ...
Full-text available
Programmable robotics is recently used in early childhood education (ECE) to introduce programming and computational thinking (CT) skills. However, there is a further need for research to contrast the efficacy of children's participation in robot programming and traditionally beneficial ECE activities. The present study thus investigated the effects of a robot programming intervention versus a block play program on kindergarteners' CT, sequencing ability, and self-regulation. The experiment (robot programming) versus comparison (block play) condition was randomly assigned to four kindergarten classes, which included 101 kindergarteners (M = 64.78 months, SD = 7.64). Statistical analyses revealed that the robot programming group (N = 54) had experienced greater gains over time in sequencing ability relative to those in the block play group (N = 47; F = 5.09, p < 0.05). Children in the robot programming group with lower level of self-regulation at baseline showed larger improvements in sequencing ability over time relative to the block play group (F = 2.37, p = 0.01). Also, children in the robot programming group with older age showed larger improvements in CT over time relative to the block play group (F = 2.40, p < 0.01). The study demonstrates the positive benefits of robot programming to early childhood development in terms of CT and sequencing ability, compared to a traditional curriculum activity in ECE—block play.
... We begin by discussing longitudinal studies that show that visuospatial reasoning, such as mental rotation measured using classic mental rota- tion tests and block building and puzzle manipulations, each of which may include active mental transformations, are especially good predic- tors of mathematical competence years later. For example, earlier work by Wolfgang, Stannard, and Jones (2001) found that the quality of 5-year- olds' block play predicted the number of math courses taken and their math performance 10 years later. ...
... Longitudinal work has been crucial in establishing the developmental origins and continuity of this link. There is evidence that visuospatial reasoning predicts later math using assessments at ages 3 (Verdine, Verdine, Irwin, et al., 2014;Verdine et al., 2017) and 5 years ( Gunderson et al., 2012;Wolfgang et al., 2001), as well as in infancy (Lauer & Lourenco, 2016). Although work with infants suggests that both visuospatial (Lauer & Lourenco, 2016) and numerical ( Starr et al., 2013) abilities predict later math competence, it is unclear whether both visuospatial and numerical abilities uniquely contribute to math compe- tence later in life. ...
The relation between visuospatial reasoning and mathematics has long-interested theorists and educators. The potential relation between these domains has been crucial for refining theories about their specificity and development. Their potential relation has also been crucial for informing educational practices in which visuospatial reasoning may be leveraged for math instruction. It is thus increasingly important to ask whether visuospatial reasoning such as the ability to mentally rotate objects or mentally represent numbers in spatial format (i.e., the mental number line) affords any advantages in the acquisition of quantitative concepts and arithmetic calculation. In this chapter, we examine longitudinal studies that have tested the extent to which visuospatial reasoning earlier in development predicts subsequent math competence. We also evaluate intervention studies that test whether visuospatial training improves performance on mathematical measures. Although several studies point to longitudinal correlations between visuospatial reasoning and math competence, the data are more mixed and difficult to interpret when examining whether visuospatial reasoning is causally implicated in math development. A gap in the literature is that we know little about the mechanisms underlying the relations between spatial and mathematical domains. We provide a preliminary discussion of candidate mechanisms to help enrich theoretical accounts of the cognitive and neural relations between spatial and mathematical domains and to constrain future research aimed at addressing questions about causality.
... For example, Verdine et al. (2014) report that spatial skills at age 3, as assessed using the Test Of Spatial Assembly (TOSA), a measure of intrinsic-dynamic spatial ability, predict a significant proportion of the variation in mathematical problem solving measured using the Wechsler Individual Achievement Test (WIAT) at age 4. Similarly, a preliminary report from Farmer et al. (2013) indicates that spatial performance on the TOSA at 3 years is significantly correlated with a combined mathematics measure at 5 years. Wolfgang, Stannard, and Jones (2001) also demonstrated that early spatial play, in particular adaptiveness and integration in block play, is associated with later mathematics achievement. However, these results should be interpreted cautiously as interpretation of free block play is subject to errors and cannot easily be mapped onto spatial typology frameworks (Wolfgang et al., 2001). ...
... Wolfgang, Stannard, and Jones (2001) also demonstrated that early spatial play, in particular adaptiveness and integration in block play, is associated with later mathematics achievement. However, these results should be interpreted cautiously as interpretation of free block play is subject to errors and cannot easily be mapped onto spatial typology frameworks (Wolfgang et al., 2001). ...
Full-text available
Strong spatial skills are associated with success in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) domains. Although there is convincing evidence that spatial skills are a reliable predictor of mathematical achievement in preschool children and in university students, there is a lack of research exploring associations between spatial and mathematics achievement during the primary school years. To address this question, this study explored associations between mathematics and spatial skills in children aged 5 and 7 years. The study sample included 12,099 children who participated in both Wave 3 (mean age = 5; 02 [years; months]) and Wave 4 (mean age = 7; 03) of the Millennium Cohort Study. Measures included a standardised assessment of mathematics and the Pattern Construction subscale of the British Ability Scales II to assess intrinsic–dynamic spatial skills. Spatial skills at 5 and 7 years of age explained a significant 8.8% of the variation in mathematics achievement at 7 years, above that explained by other predictors of mathematics, including gender, socioeconomic status, ethnicity, and language skills. This percentage increased to 22.6% without adjustment for language skills. This study expands previous findings by using a large-scale longitudinal sample of primary school children, a population that has been largely omitted from previous research exploring associations between spatial ability and mathematics achievement. The finding that early and concurrent spatial skills contribute to mathematics achievement at 7 years of age highlights the potential of spatial skills as a novel target in the design of mathematics interventions for children in this age range.
... Likewise, children's block play is grounded in social-constructivist theory (Piaget, 1967). As children engage with materials and actively explore block properties, they construct knowledge in geometric and spatial principles, social language, and cooperative peer relationships (Ferrara, Hirsh-Pasek, Newcombe, Golinkoff, & Lam, 2011;Wolfgang, Stannard, & Jones, 2001). Observations of preschoolers' play with blocks and other loose parts materials indicate evidence of engineering play behavior. ...
... Preschoolers' informal mathematical knowledge predicts school achievement in formal mathematical skills, such as using and writing Arabic numerals, operational signs, and algorithms (Aunio & Niemivirta, 2010;Purpura, Baroody, & Lonigan, 2013). Moreover, preschoolers' block building complexity predicts later school mathematical achievement (Wolfgang et al., 2001(Wolfgang et al., , 2003. We The Preschool Engineering Play Behaviors (P-EBP) observation instrument is copyrighted and not to be used in research or for other educational purposes without permission of the author (Gold et al., 2015. ...
Research Findings: Engineering play is a new framework for understanding constructive block building as a design process. The current study examined associations between engineering play with wooden unit blocks and mathematics and spatial skills of children with and without disabilities. Participants included 110 preschoolers (44% female; 25% children with disabilities), ages 49–72 months (M = 58.47, SD = 4.46), from the Midwest United States. A confirmatory factor analysis resulted in one engineering play factor including six of the nine engineering play behaviors with good model fit. Correcting for nesting and controlling for demographic covariates in marginal regression models, there was a significant positive association between engineering play and spatial horizontal rotation skills, β = .19. Moderation analyses revealed a significant positive association between engineering play and geometry for children with disabilities, β = .28. Practice or Policy: Findings provide initial evidence that engineering play is related to mathematics and spatial development and may be an important educational approach for supporting cognitive skills and school readiness in typically developing children and children with disabilities.
... Playing with blocks and puzzles has been proposed as a means of support, ing not only spatial thinking but also mathematical thinking. For example, Wolfgang, Stannard, and Jones (2001) suggested that "construction play with blocks offers the preschool child the opportunity to classify, measure, order, count, use fractions, and become more aware of depth, width, length, symme, try, shape, and space" (p. 174). ...
... στο Ness & Farenga, 2016. Αξίζει να αναφερθεί ότι τα αποτελέσματα της μακροχρόνιας έρευνας των Wolfgang, Stannard & Jones (2001) έδειξαν ότι το παιχνίδι με το οικοδομικό υλικό συμβάλλει στην απόκτηση μαθηματικών εννοιών και γενικά στην ακαδημαϊκή επιτυχία των μαθητών (Wolfgang et al., 2001, όπ. αναφ. ...
... Using similar strategies, Cook (2000) enriched the child's game with numerous symbols, and found that the rich environment also develops mathematical concepts. In addition, it has been shown that the success of these children is more significant in upper grades of primary school in the field of mathematical knowledge (Wolfang, Stannard & Jones, 2001). Other authors examined the influence of the game on the development of creativity, thinking and conservation ability (Bateson & Martin, 2013;Howard-Jones, Taylor & Sutto, 2002;Kellock, 2015). ...
Full-text available
Bearing in mind that one of the key challenges in the school system is the development of mental abilities, in this paper, we discuss the possibilities of the influence of didactic games on the development of concepts about geometric forms, the abilities of analytical and synthetic thinking and the abilities to draw a conclusion. The aim of this research was to examine the possibility of encouraging the development of the thinking skills of first grade pupils of the primary school, using a system of didactic games. Research design involved the implementation of a parallel-group experiment on the sample of 163 primary school pupils (6.5 to 7.5 years old). The following instruments were applied: The Kamenov's instrument for testing the level of development of concepts on geometric shapes, Raven's progressive colour matrices and Kohs Block Design Test. The results of the research showed that the system of didactic games significantly influenced the development of concepts about geometric shapes, the development of the ability to conclude, but not the ability of the analytical and synthetic thinking of pupils. Key words: mental abilities, teaching, system of didactic games, pupil, the ability to draw a conclusion, analytical and synthetic thinking.
... Oyun temelli öğrenmenin, çocukların matematik becerilerinden sosyal ve dil gelişimine kadar olan katkıları uluslararası alan yazında da sıkça vurgulanmaktadır. Özellikle, oyun oynama zamanında çocukların sayı sayma, örüntü oluşturma ve uzamsal beceriler gibi pek çok matematik becerisini geliştirdiği gözlemlenmiştir (Scalise, Daubert, & Ramani, 2017;O'Sullivan, & Ring, 2018;Wolfgang, Stannard, & Jones, 2001). Bodrova ve Leong (2007), oyunun çocukların sosyal gelişimleri üzerine olan etkisine değinerek, oyun sırasında çocukların çatışma çözme becerilerini geliştirerek başkalarının düşüncelerine saygı duyma ve dinleme becerilerini geliştirdiklerini belirtmiştir. ...
... Block play is a common activity in the early years, which has also been defined as an open-ended, creative, and valuable play and learning experience available to every setting, offering children enormous opportunities to explore their surrounding world by taking apart and putting back together any blockbased creation they can think of (Rybczynski and Troy, 1995;Ferrara et al., 2011;Cai et al., 2020). In the past decades, researchers reached a consensus that block play in the early years generates various kinds of benefits for children's development, which include but are not limited to: motor and fine-motor skills (Hanline et al., 2001), social development (i.e., peer-relationship, cooperation, prosocial behaviors, etc., see Rybczynski and Troy, 1995), cognitive development [i.e., spatial ability, see Wolfgang et al. (2001) for example; math achievement, see Hanline et al. (2010) for example; engineering potentials, etc., see Cai et al. (2020) for example], and language development (Stroud, 1995;Pickett, 1998;Christakis et al., 2007;Cohen and Uhry, 2007;Ferrara et al., 2011). ...
Full-text available
This study investigated the role of theme-based blocks play in enhancing Chinese children's language capacity with a quasi-experiment. Altogether 61 young children were assigned to the experiment group (M age = 5.83, SD = 0.25, 56.25% girls) and the control group (M age = 5.87, SD = 0.28, 51.72% girls). The experiment group was engaged in a 12-week theme-based block play intervention programs, whereas the control group received no interventions but free block play during the parallel time sessions. All the children were tested with the Language Assessment for Preschool Children (LAPC) before and after the intervention. The ANCOVA results indicated that the experimental group significantly improved in LAPC test, whereas the control group showed no significant change. The educational implications of these findings are discussed.
... Additionally, researchers have considered the relation between block building and mathematical abilities, both concurrently and longitudinally (Verdine et al., 2016;Wolfgang, Stannard, & Jones, 2001). Verdine et al. developed the Test of Spatial Abilities (TOSA) to assess the contribution of spatial skills to mathematical abilities in children as young as 3 years of age (Verdine et al., 2016;. ...
Full-text available
Spatial ability is manifest across different psychological domains, including perception, action, and cognition. The development of spatial understanding originates in the perception-action skills of infants. When infants act on the world, either during object manipulation or locomotion, one may begin to glean the foundations of older children's and adults' efforts to think, reason, and solve problems more symbolically and abstractly. Even during infancy, different actions, such as reaching and locomotion, may incur different spatial demands, requiring infants to use spatial information flexibly. In the preschool years and beyond, as symbolic skills become more developed, children's spatial abilities become more abstract, which are reflected in their abilities to think about the layout of environments and to use maps to learn about environments. Besides differences in spatial ability as a function of developmental level, individual differences in spatial ability have also been documented as a function of gender, daily experience, and blindness. Collectively, research on individual differences in spatial development suggests that training procedures can reduce differences in spatial skill that may arise in different individuals. Finally, to understand spatial development more fully, research is needed on the neural bases of spatial development, cross-cultural differences in spatial development, and the impact of technology on spatial behavior.
... During complex games that help her/him gain rich experiences for cognitive development, the child performs mental activities in terms of abstract skills such as reflexion, perception, comprehension, order arrangement, analysis and synthesis, evaluation, reasoning, problem solving, establishment of cause and effect relationships, focus and development of convergent thinking. An effective game develops the children's cooperative learning, communication, problem solving, and critical thinking abilities.Therefore, playing a game is the leading factor that influences cognitive development (Aral, Gürsoy, & Köksal, 2000;Athey, 1988;Cheyne & Rubin, 1983;DeVries, 2015;Doğanay, 2002;Driscoll & Nagel, 2008;Hazar, 2000;Kamii, 2015;Lillard et al., 2013;MoNE, 2007;Özdoğan, 2000;Pehlivan, 2005;Pepler, 1982;Persky, Stegall-Zanation, & DupuisVanderberg, 1980;Ulrich & Glendon, 2005;Wolfgang, Stannard, & Jones, 2001;Wyvern & Spence, 1999). ...
Full-text available
This study aimed to examine the influence of the ‘Board Game Based Cognitive Training Programme’ (BGBCTP) on the cognitive development of the second and third graders among primary school children. BGBCTP is based on educational board games for second and third graders and aims to help them develop cognitive skills. Mixed method was used and it was carried out within the framework of embedded design. A quasi-experimental pretest-posttest design was the quantitative data gathering method and a case study was the qualitative one. The participant group consisted of 120 children (60 in the experimental group, 60 in the control group). The interviews were conducted with twenty grade teachers who carried out the training programme in the experimental group. The General Information Form, The Thurstone Primary Mental Abilities Test 7-11 (PMA 7-11) and “Semi-structured Interview Form” were used to collect data. PMA 7-11 was used to statistically test the influence of BGBCTP on the development of second and third graders’ cognitive skills. BGBCTP was used by the researcher with the children in the experimental group in a ‘regular and controlled’ manner, for 12 weeks, 2 days in a week, 1 hour each day (a total of 24 hours), in addition to their daily activities in their regular environment. For quantitative data analysis, the dependent-samples t-test was carried out for in-group comparisons, whereas the independent-samples t-test was used for intergroup comparisons. For qualitative data analysis, a descriptive analysis approach was used. The quantitative research findings indicated that the BGBCTP has had a significantly positive effect on the cognitive developments of the children in the experimental group. Besides the qualitative research findings revealed that the BGBCTP has a positive effect on children’s linguistic, shape-space, reasoning, discrimination and numerical abilities. In conclusion, BGBCTP is an effective programme on the cognitive development of children. Keywords: Cognitive development, cognitive games, educational board games, cognitive training programme, primary school
... itive, motor, language, social-emotional development, play also improves their creativity skills, problem solving, developing different perspectives, taking responsibility and fulfilling the responsibility (Bodrova and Leong, 2007;Ginsburg, 2007;Johnson et. al., 2005;O'Sullivan and Ring, 2018;Özgünlü and Veziroğlu-Çelik, 2018;Scalise et. al., 2017;Wolfgang et. al., 2001). These features of the game become even more important in the preschool period. ...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
In this study, it is aimed to examine the participation of children with special needs in open space and garden activities in special educational institutions according to teacher opinions. The study was designed in qualitative research pattern. It is a study for due diligence. The study group was formed 10 special education teachers who could be reached with easy-toreach sampling method. In the study, interview method was used in the collection of data. The semi-structured interview form included open-end questions in accordance with the objectives and sub-objectives of the study. Teacher interviews were made by phone and recorded out loud. Written breakdown of the interviews was made in the analysis of the data. The data was encoded and interpreted as themes. Direct excerpts from the participants' opinions were included. Special education teachers stated that they used the schoolyard especially in physical education class. They stated that they use the open space not only for physical education, but also to support the physical and social development of children. The teachers’ views were that open space supports peer interaction of children with special needs. It has been determined that weather conditions are effective in removing children to the open area, and children are not taken to the open area in rainy or snowy weather conditions. The schoolyard and its surroundings were not considered safe areas, which were among the reasons why children were not taken to the open area.
... Potensi bermain untuk mendukung pembelajaran STEM ditemukan bahkan untuk siswa termuda. Sebagai contoh, permainan blok pada anak-anak prasekolah telah ditemukan untuk memprediksi prestasi akademis selanjutnya dalam matematika [14]. Secara umum, bermain dengan mainan spasial seperti balok, puzzle, dan permainan bentuk mendukung pengembangan keterampilan spasial dan terkait dengan kesiapan sekolah, terutama untuk area STEM [13]. ...
Full-text available
Dalam paper ini dibahas peran game online Dragonbox Algebra 5+ sebagai salah satu cara yang dapat dilakukan untuk meningkatkan minat siswa dalam pembelajaran matematika, khususnya aljabar. Di era digital yang berkembang begitu pesat ini, penggunaan hal-hal yang terkait dengan internet telah menjadi suatu hal yang menjadi kebutuhan sehari-hari. Apalagi dalam hal permainan atau game online. Tidak dapat dipungkiri bahwa sebagian besar anak-anak aktif dalam beberapa permainan atau game online. Oleh karena itu, hal tersebut dijadikan penulis sebagai salah satu sarana pembelajaran sebagai upaya untuk meningkatkan ketertarikan siswa terhadap aljabar. Metode ini dapat dijadikan sebagai salah satu upaya bagi pengajar dalam meningkatkan ketertarikan siswa kepada aljabar, yang pada akhirnya dapat meningkatkan keterlibatan serta pemahaman siswa dalam pelajaran tersebut.
... Block building interventions have been found to improve block building performance as well as showing transfer to a measure of spatial visualization, the Block Design Subtest of the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children (WISC; Casey et al., 2008). Further, block building skills have been found to predict math skills for both younger and older children (Nath & Szücs, 2014;Verdine et al., 2017;Wolfgang, Stannard, & Jones, 2001). In fact, studies have found that block building skills in 3-year-olds uniquely predict about one-quarter of the variability in mathematics at age 4 and more than one-third of the variability in mathematics at age 5 Verdine et al., 2017). ...
The goal of this study was to examine maternal support of spatial concept learning and planning at 36 months as predictors of children’s math achievement at 4 ½ years and first grade. Observational measures of videotaped mother-child interactions from the Boston site of the NICHD Study of Early Child Care and Youth Development (N = 140) were used to examine the effectiveness of support for spatial concept learning and planning during a block building play activity. Trained observers rated maternal support of children’s learning of spatial concepts through spatial language and gestures, with higher ratings involving explanations and encouragement of children’s use of spatial concepts. This measure was predictive of math achievement at 4 ½ years when controlling for length of the parent-child observation, child gender, ethnicity, and IQ at 2 years, as well as maternal years of education, verbal intelligence, income-to-needs averaged from 1 to 36 months, parenting stress, general cognitive stimulation, and maternal support of numerical concepts during the same observation. Maternal support of children’s planning skills, also rated by trained observers during the block building activity, involved identifying incremental steps to reach the block building goal, with higher ratings given for encouraging planning on the part of the child. This measure was predictive of math achievement at 4 ½ years, as well as reading achievement at both 4 ½ years and first grade, suggesting that maternal planning support has associations with the two key measures of school readiness, while maternal spatial support may be specific to mathematics.
... Just as the influence of domain-general cognitive processes on the relation between spatial and mathematical skills is unclear, whether the relation between the skill sets varies across development is also unknown. Much prior research suggests that the relation between spatial skills and mathematical skills could vary depending on participants' age or grade level (Battista, 1990;Stannard et al., 2001;Wolfgang et al., 2001). For instance, in a longitudinal study by Li and Geary (2013), first-to fifth-grade gains in visuospatial memory predicted the end of fifth-grade mathematical achievement. ...
Full-text available
Much recent research has focused on the relation between spatial skills and mathematical skills, which has resulted in widely reported links between these two skill sets. However, the magnitude of this relation is unclear. Furthermore, it is of interest whether this relation differs in size based on key demographic variables, such as gender and grade-level, and the extent to which this relation can be accounted for by shared domain-general reasoning skills across the two domains. Here we present the results of two meta-analytic studies synthesizing the findings from 45 articles to identify the magnitude of the relation, as well as potential moderators and mediators. The first meta-analysis employed correlated and hierarchical effects meta-regression models to examine the magnitude of the relation between spatial and mathematical skills, and to understand the effect of gender and grade-level on the association. The second meta-analysis employed meta-analytic structural equation modeling to determine how domain-general reasoning skills, specifically fluid reasoning and verbal skills, influence the relationship. Results revealed a positive moderate association between spatial and mathematical skills (r = .36, robust standard error = 0.035, τ2 = 0.039). However, no significant effect of gender or grade-level on the association was found. Additionally, we found that fluid reasoning and verbal skills mediated the relationship between spatial skills and mathematical skills, but a unique relation between the spatial and mathematical skills remained. Implications of these findings include advancing our understanding for how to leverage and bolster students’ spatial skills as a mechanism for improving mathematical outcomes.
... In some intervention studies, participation in block play supported both improvement of math achievement and growth in EF skills (Blair & Raver, 2014;Schmitt et al., 2018). During block play, children may have opportunities to practice mental representations of objects and products (Wolfgang et al., 2001) that lay the foundations for cognitive development (Kamii, 1972;Piaget, 1962). The last activity in the scale represents engagement in memory games since participation in these activities may support the growth of EF, especially working memory (Thorell et al., 2009). ...
Full-text available
Executive function (EF) skills are considered to be important factors for the development of children’s school readiness and academic achievement. These skills may be developed in the home environment. The relation between home environment and the development of children’s EF has been widely discussed in the literature on early childhood education. It is also important to investigate the relation between EF-specific activities at home and the development of children’s EF skills. The Home EF Environment (HEFE) scale was recently developed and it was found that the parents’ EF-specific activities were positively correlated to the children’s EF. However, the items of the scale didn’t reflect all EF-specific activities at home and the scale cannot be administrated to Korean children without modification since the home environment varies in different cultures. For this reason, in the present study, we detailed the items of HEFE scale and analyzed the association between the parent-reported HEFE scale and EF skills of children with a sample of 146 preschool children and one of their parents in Pyongyang, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. For the sample, the mean age of children ranged from 34 to 57 months (M = 46.66, SD = 6.99), and 50.7% were male. On the basis of a correlational matrix, we found that the HEFE scale was positively correlated to the inhibitory control and working memory of children, but not to cognitive flexibility. We also found that the Home Learning Environment (HLE) was significantly and positively related to all three domains of children’s EF. In addition, some of the EF-specific activities (block play, memory game, concentration game and jogging) were significantly correlated to the HLE. The potential importance of the HLE and EF-specific activities at home are addressed in the discussion.
... Lippard et al. (2017) identified and reviewed only 27 studies related to engineering thinking in preschool. The majority of these studies measured a construct theoretically related to engineering, without directly measuring engineering (e.g., associations of spatial ability and mathematics with block building; Verdine et al., 2014;Wolfgang et al., 2001) or studied engineering thinking in less-traditional play contexts such as robotics, often with school-age children (e.g., Bers, 2007). Moreover, many of these studies discussed implications of preschool-age engineering skills using theory and related developmental constructs as proxies (Lippard et al., 2017). ...
Background Engineering play is an emerging framework for understanding young children's constructive block play as an engineering design process. Few studies have evaluated engineering thinking, language, or behavior in preschool-age children, especially quantitative evaluations that systematically document specific early engineering behavior. More research is needed to support diverse children's engineering education in ecologically valid classroom contexts and understand relations with the key cognitive domains that predict school readiness. Purpose/Hypothesis The present study investigated the associations of executive functioning and planning skills with preschoolers' engineering play behaviors with wooden unit blocks, tested the moderating role of disability status in these associations, and provided additional reliability and validity data on the Preschool Engineering Play Behaviors (P-EPB) measure. Design/Method Participants were 110 preschoolers (44% female; 25% children with disabilities) observed and coded during 15-min block play sessions with a peer partner. Children completed separate formal assessments of executive function and planning. Results A one-factor engineering play variable including six behavior categories (i.e., communicating goals, problem-solving, explaining how things are built/work, following patterns and prototypes, logical and mathematical words, and technical vocabulary) was significantly and positively associated with executive function and planning for children with disabilities. Conclusions Results provide new knowledge about early engineering measurement and implications for teaching and learning engineering across multiple academic disciplines and with children from diverse developmental backgrounds.
... Another study with three-year-olds found evidence that spatial skills were even more important than early mathematics skills in predicting mathematics achievement at the age of five [17]. Contradicting others [17,64], it was noted that the level of SV is independent of gender [50]. ...
In science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) for instance, interdisciplinary studies have noted positive correlation between spatial-visualization (SV skills) and mathematical problem solving. The majority of these studies sharing a link between SV skills and problem solving were contextualized in urban settings and only a few in rural settings. This investigation analyses how rural-based pre-service teachers apply their SV skills in problem-solving in a South African university, in the context of vector calculus. One hundred rural-based pre-service teachers in a second year vector calculus class at University of Zululand (UNIZULU) were randomly selected into control and experimental groups. MATLAB was used as a dynamic visual tool to analyse how research participants applied their SV skills. A mixed method approach was employed in data collection (quantitative and qualitative). Our findings revealed that the rural-based pre-service teachers’ SV skills correlate with their problem-solving skills in vector calculus.
... For example, researchers have documented a relation between play and language development (Lewis, 2003;Vig, 2007), increases in children's vocalizations (Barton & Wolery, 2010;Frey & Kaiser, 2011), and social skills (Freeman, Gulsrud, & Kasari, 2015;Gulsrud, Helleman, Freeman, & Kasari, 2014;Kasari, Gulsrud, Freeman, Paparella, & Helleman, 2012;Toth, Munson, Meltzoff, & Dawson, 2006). Researchers also have documented relations between complex play skills and academic achievement (Hanline, Milton, & Phelps, 2010;Wolfgang, Stannard, & Jones, 2001). In addition, play has a practical benefit in that it provides a context for meaningful interactions with others across settings, which promotes independent participation and engagement. ...
In this systematic review, we examined the rigor and outcomes across 27 object play intervention studies using single-case research methodology. We focused on studies including children age 5 years or younger and examined several descriptive characteristics including materials, instructional packages, and settings. We also analyzed the facilitation and measurement of generalized play and several methodological features including quality, rigor, and visual analysis procedures. Overall, the identified studies demonstrated positive outcomes, although quality and rigor limited interpretations of the outcomes. Previous reviews also have noted strong outcomes and weak to moderate quality for single-case studies. Our results should be interpreted with caution given previous reviews of play intervention studies identified strong outcomes and quality from group-design studies. Additional replications testing robust interventions using single-case research with strong methodological rigor are warranted.
... The strength of such a link made researchers explore whether interventions on visuospatial abilities transfer to mathematical skills. Wolfgang et al. (2001) found that preschool children who engage in more block play perform better in school math, even if this effect appears only during high school. Similar findings were also reported by Mix and Cheng (2012). ...
Full-text available
Cognitive abilities are essential to children's overall growth; thus, the implementation of early and effective training interventions is a major challenge for developmental psychologists and teachers. This study explores whether an intervention simultaneously operating on fluid reasoning (FR), visuospatial, narrative, and motor abilities could boost these competencies in a group of Italian preschoolers (N = 108, 54 males 54 females, Agemean = 4.04). FR and visuospatial abilities showed training‐related increases at the end of the training and 1‐year follow‐up (moderate effect size). Interestingly, positive correlations with working memory and mathematical abilities were found. Beyond their scientific relevance, the short‐ and long‐term effects provide fundamental indications for designing and implementing educational programs dedicated to preschoolers.
Engineering education in early childhood (preschool through second grade) is a new emphasis in preK-12 education. Many endeavors to introduce engineering to young children use an approach of providing teachers engineering curriculum with prepared lessons or lesson suggestions. An alternative approach is to examine the current educational settings of preschool through second grade to discern existing contexts and activities where engineering is a natural fit. In this chapter, the author invites the reader to examine the high-quality early childhood educational setting and ponder its untapped potential to develop children’s engineering habits of mind and the subsequent advantages for children’s development.
Background Children begin foundational learning in early childhood that sets the stage for later learning and academic success. Research regarding engineering in early childhood is limited yet growing. Purpose Because interest in engineering in early childhood is growing, this article reviews research regarding interactions, materials, and activities that promote prekindergarten children's engineering thinking, and in turn how this engineering thinking is related to developmental outcomes. Scope/Method The initial search for papers with relevant keywords returned over 2,000 papers. Upon review, 27 papers pertained to children age five or under and to engineering. The following research questions were addressed: What (a) interactions and (b) materials and activities promote prekindergarten children's engineering thinking? What developmental outcomes are related to children's engineering thinking? Conclusions The small body of research regarding engineering thinking in prekindergarten children only allows for a few limited conclusions. Specifically, results indicate that children display engineering thinking when actively engaged with materials, adults are better able to facilitate engineering thinking if they have received some guidance on both engineering principles and asking children questions, and children's engineering thinking can promote early math skills and possibly social and emotional development. However, a consistent limitation in the literature is that measures are underdeveloped and their psychometric properties are often unestablished.
Full-text available
Considering that geometry is taught according to certain principles that do not encourage creativity, I have decided to employ the mixed methods philosophical framework applying the concurrent transformative design in the form of an exploratory case study. The case study to (i) explore and design a model that influences learning using polygon pieces and mathematics dictionary in the teaching and learning of geometry to grade 8 learners; (ii) investigate if the measurement of angles and sides of polygons using polygon pieces assisted by mathematics dictionary promote learners’ comprehension of geometry and (iii) investigate how mathematics teachers should use polygon pieces along with mathematics dictionary to teach properties of triangles in order to promote learners’ conceptual understanding. Drawing from my research findings a model has been developed from the use of polygon pieces and mathematics dictionary. The model use of mathematics dictionary in teaching and learning geometry is to develop learners’ mathematics vocabulary and terminology proficiency. Polygon pieces are to enhance the comprehension of geometric concepts. The quantitative data emerged from marked scripts of the diagnostic and postintervention tests, the daily reflective tests and intervention activities were analysed as percentages and presented in line and bar graphs. Qualitative data obtained from observation notes and transcribed interviews were analysed in three forms: thematically, constant comparison and keywords in context. These findings support other research regarding the importance of using physical manipulatives with mathematics dictionary in teaching and learning geometry. They align with other findings that stress that manipulatives are critical facilitating tools for the development of mathematics concepts. The investigations led into the designing of a teaching model for the topic under study for the benefit of the mathematics community in the teaching and learning of geometry, focusing on properties of triangles. The model developed during this study adds to the relatively sparse teaching models but growing theoretical foundation of the field of mathematics.
Full-text available
The article discusses the importance of introducing training programs for preschool children that allow them to master basic knowledge in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM subjects) as an academic basis for the technological transition that is currently taking place in the modern world. It is shown that when preschool students study STEM subjects, it gives them a great advantage later in elementary, middle, and high school. As a result of our investigation of STEM subjects for preschoolers and the gender considerations that should be incorporated into successful teaching strategies, we have concluded that together with the preparation and institutionalization of such training programs it is necessary to teach the designers of educational programs as well as educators about the specific features that characterize how boys and girls learn. A curriculum that takes gender differences into account is one that does not allow the development of a gender dichotomy in education. Rather, it should ensure that both boys and girls have equal motivation and a positive attitude about STEM subjects.
Spatial construction—the activity of creating novel spatial arrangements or copying existing ones—is a hallmark of human spatial cognition. Spatial construction abilities predict math and other academic outcomes and are regularly used in IQ testing, but we know little about the cognitive processes that underlie them. In part, this lack of understanding is due to both the complex nature of construction tasks and the tendency to limit measurement to the overall accuracy of the end goal. Using an automated recording and coding system, we examined in detail adults’ performance on a block copying task, specifying their step‐by‐step actions, culminating in all steps in the full construction of the build‐path. The results revealed the consistent use of a structured plan that unfolded in an organized way, layer by layer (bottom to top). We also observed that complete layers served as convergence points, where the most agreement among participants occurred, whereas the specific steps taken to achieve each of those layers diverged, or varied, both across and even within individuals. This pattern of convergence and divergence suggests that the layers themselves were serving as the common subgoals across both inter and intraindividual builds of the same model, reflecting cognitive “chunking.” This structured use of layers as subgoals was functionally related to better performance among builders. Our findings offer a foundation for further exploration that may yield insights into the development and training of block‐construction as well as other complex cognitive‐motor skills. In addition, this work offers proof‐of‐concept for systematic investigation into a wide range of complex action‐based cognitive tasks.
Full-text available
Playing represents a fundamental activity for children’s growth. Games consisting in manipulating blocks, especially, seems to have an important role in the child’s cognitive development. Many studies have been conducted for investigating the various aspects of playing with blocks, in order to understand its actual effectiveness in relation to different cognitive skills. A first area of research regards the relationship between playing with building blocks and visual-spatial ability; a second one examines the relationship between playing with building blocks and mathematic skills; a third one explores the relationship between buil�ding blocks, visual-spatial skills, numerical intelligence in its various components and mental imagery. These studies suggest that playing with blocks represents an important recreational and educational tool with a high capacity to enhance the overall cognitive development and specific skills like the mathematical ones. This narrative review offers an analysis of the existing empirical evidence on playing with building blocks in order to understand its actual effectiveness. In an historical period where electronic devices are gradually replacing the manual games that have always accompanied human development, knowing the state of this kind of research may represent a source of reflection for reconsidering scholastic programs with the aim of a possible return to specific manual playing activities, in order to enhance cognitive functioning and specific school skills.
Experiences in early childhood set the foundation for lifelong learning. Given the integrative and applied nature of engineering and children’s natural curiosity, we suggest that prekindergarten classrooms are well suited for providing opportunities to promote the development of engineering habits of mind (EHM). Developmental theories suggest that children learn best through hands-on experiences that enable them to explore and discover concepts themselves and that others in the child’s environment can serve as active partners in exploration. Recognizing the emphasis on integrated curriculum in early childhood and the competing demands for time in preschool classrooms, we identify the EHM as an appropriate early engineering emphasis that can be embedded in everyday classroom moments. To this end, this chapter begins by pointing out connections among science, math, and engineering for early learners, highlights theories that inform our work with engineering in prekindergarten classrooms, discusses EHM in prekindergarten learners, briefly presents a pilot study of observing EHM in prekindergarten classrooms, and ends by drawing overarching conclusions and suggesting future directions for incorporating EHM into prekindergarten classrooms.
An enduring challenge in visual-spatial research has been to identify the factors contributing to individual differences in ability. This research investigated the overall, verbal, and nonverbal visual-spatial ability of 61 (34 boys) three- to five-year-olds (Mage = 57.3 months; SD = 7.9) and the following factors known to be related to visual-spatial ability: grade, sex, socio-economic status, math and spatial activity engagement at home, parental mental rotation, quantitative reasoning, intelligence, and working memory. Results revealed quantitative reasoning and general intelligence were an important predictor of overall and nonverbal visual-spatial ability. Mathematics activities in the home predicted children’s verbal visual-spatial ability but not after accounting for various cognitive factors. Given the highly malleable nature of visual-spatial ability, we anticipated a grade effect; however, this was not found. Older children did not outperform the younger children suggesting a possible ‘kindergarten in-effect’ whereby schooling did not result in visual-spatial learning over time.
Das vorliegende Buch besteht aus einem theoretischen und einem empirischen Teil zur Analyse der visuell-räumlichen Einflüsse auf die Arithmetikleistungen von Kindern am Übergang zwischen der Grundschule und der Sekundarstufe.
Children need to develop a variety of skill sets to optimize their development and manage toxic stress. Research demonstrates that developmentally appropriate play with parents and peers is a singular opportunity to promote the social-emotional, cognitive, language, and self-regulation skills that build executive function and a prosocial brain. Furthermore, play supports the formation of the safe, stable, and nurturing relationships with all caregivers that children need to thrive.Play is not frivolous: it enhances brain structure and function and promotes executive function (ie, the process of learning, rather than the content), which allow us to pursue goals and ignore distractions.When play and safe, stable, nurturing relationships are missing in a child's life, toxic stress can disrupt the development of executive function and the learning of prosocial behavior; in the presence of childhood adversity, play becomes even more important. The mutual joy and shared communication and attunement (harmonious serve and return interactions) that parents and children can experience during play regulate the body's stress response. This clinical report provides pediatric providers with the information they need to promote the benefits of play and and to write a prescription for play at well visits to complement reach out and read. At a time when early childhood programs are pressured to add more didactic components and less playful learning, pediatricians can play an important role in emphasizing the role of a balanced curriculum that includes the importance of playful learning for the promotion of healthy child development.
A supportive creative environment for young children is viewed as an essential element toward facilitating their creative thinking. Creativity requires imagination, insight, problem solving, divergent thinking, the ability to express emotions and to be able to make choices, thus we created a supportive learning environment to nurture creativity in three to four year olds. In this chapter creativity theory is discussed and how to apply to the early childhood educational setting. The Reggio Approach and creativity-provoking methods are discussed. Application of the theory relates to how children are immersed into activities encourages problem-solving, exploration, creativity and the learning supported by play based experiences for children. Examples are given as to how one child development center has provided curriculum, arranged the indoor and outdoor spaces, and integrated the artist in residence concept into the setting.
Full-text available
COVID-crisis has made significant changes in the educational process of many coun-tries, including the need for new management decisions that would solve the complex problem of accelerating the development of online resources for distance learning. Management, particularly in education, is valuable when it is able to combine both general and specific goals. Especially when it comes to a specific educational process for training future TV and radio journalists, advertisers and PR-managers, screenwrit-ers and directors, sound directors, TV presenters, film and cameramen. The peculiarity of these professions is the combination of both creative and technological components of production and placement of professional audio-video content, i.e. content pro-duced by TV and radio companies, film or TV studios, advertising agencies, and aimed at a mass audience. One of the basic priorities in training such specialists is, first of all, the practice, which is based on the planned implementation of educational audiovisual projects and the ability to put them into effect in certain circumstances, including COVID-crisis caused by COVID-19 virus. Therefore, the aim of the article is to hypothesize how to build a productive distance educational strategy in the condi-tions of COVID-crisis, which specifically affected the quality of practical training of specialists in the field of audiovisual media and arts in Ukraine.
Full-text available
The purpose of this research is to investigate the relationship between the quality of teacher-child interactions and the development of spatial reasoning among four year old children in full time kindergarten in a disadvantaged environment. The sample is made up on one hand of 415 children data (215 girls, 200 boys) aged 58.29 months (SD=4.93), and on the other hand, it consists of five female teachers holding bachelor’s degree, with an average of 19.6 years of teaching experience (SD=4.3). The study took place over a period of four years, with two measurement times each year (fall and spring). In order to evaluate the quality of teacher-child interactions, the Classroom Assesment Scoring System Kindergarten (CLASS Pre-k) was used (Pianta et al., 2011) and the development of children’s spatial reasoning was evaluated from the Wechsler Preschool and Primary Scale of Intelligence-Third Edition (WPPSI-III) subtests blocks, matrices, and concept images (Gerber, 2015). The results reveal, in particular, that in general the quality of teacher-child interactions is at a medium-high level for the areas of emotional support and classroom organization. With regard to support for learning, it is at a medium-low level. The results also reveal that the level of development of children’s spatial reasoning is at an average score of 98.27 which is comparable to the average of the general population (M=100). In addition, multiple-effect-mixed regression analyzes significantly predicted each of the spatial reasoning variables (WPPSI-III) according to the domains of quality of teacher-child interactions (emotional support, classroom organization, and support learning). These results confirm the conclusions of previous studies on the subject and demonstrate that the quality of teacher-child interactions is very important for the development of spatial reasoning in all children, and particularly in children from disadvantaged backgrounds. Thus, the quality of teacher-child interactions stimulates intellectual curiosity, encourages questioning, exploration and discussion with peers (Wood and Frid, 2005), which favor the development of spatial reasoning. La présente recherche a pour but d’étudier la relation entre la qualité des interactions enseignante-enfants et le développement du raisonnement spatial chez des enfants de la maternelle quatre ans temps plein en milieu défavorisé (TPMD). L’échantillon apparié est composé, d’une part, de 415 données enfants (215 filles, 200 garçons) âgés de 58.29 mois (ÉT=4.93), et d’autre part, de cinq enseignantes titulaires d’un baccalauréat, ayant en moyenne 19.6 ans d’expérience en enseignement (ÉT=4.3). L’étude s’est échelonnée sur une période de quatre ans, avec deux temps de mesure à chaque année (automne et printemps). Afin d’évaluer le niveau de la qualité des interactions enseignante-enfants, l’outil de mesure Classroom Assesment Scoring System Kindergarten (CLASS Pre-k) a été utilisé (Pianta et al., 2011), alors que le développement du raisonnement spatial des enfants a été mesuré à partir des sous-tests blocs, matrices et concepts en images du Wechsler Preschool and Primary Scale of Intelligence-Third Edition (WPPSI-III) (Gerber, 2015). Les résultats révèlent notamment que de façon générale, la qualité des interactions enseignante-enfants se situe à un niveau moyen-élevé pour les domaines du soutien émotionnel et de l’organisation de la classe. En ce qui concerne le soutien à l’apprentissage, il se situe à un niveau moyen-faible. Les résultats révèlent également que le niveau de développement du raisonnement spatial des enfants se situe à un score moyen de 98.27, ce qui est comparable à la moyenne de la population générale (M=100). De plus, des analyses de régressions multiples à effet mixte ont prédit de manière significative chacune des variables du raisonnement spatial (WPPSI-III) en fonction des domaines de la qualité des interactions enseignante-enfants (soutien émotionnel, organisation de la classe et soutien aux apprentissages). Ces résultats vont dans le même sens que les conclusions des précédentes études sur la question et démontrent que la qualité des interactions enseignante-enfants parait déterminante pour le développement du raisonnement spatial chez tous les enfants, et particulièrement chez les enfants issus de milieux qui sont dits défavorisés. Ainsi, la qualité des interactions enseignante-enfants stimule la curiosité intellectuelle, encourage le questionnement, l’exploration et la discussion avec les pairs (Wood et Frid, 2005), ce qui favorise le développement du raisonnement spatial.
This research study begins to explore how a take-home bag intervention (Project MathPack) focused on early childhood mathematics can potentially increase family mathematics play interactions. The primary aim of Project MathPack was to build more effective mathematics environments in home settings and to provide embedded professional development for parents to understand how to engage in mathematics play with young children. Through an overall case study design, nine participant dyads (parent/child) engaged in a 5-week intervention where they received weekly MathPacks that promoted mathematical interactions through guided play tasks. Prior to and following the intervention, the research team interviewed participants regarding their beliefs and practices related to early childhood mathematics in home environments. In addition, the research team recorded observations of play interactions to examine changes following the intervention. Significant increases in mathematics interactions between parents and children occurred from pre- to postintervention. Further, parents showed shifts in beliefs related to their role during mathematics play and increased motivation for engaging in mathematics play with their child. These findings support increased opportunities to engage families in mathematical play. Findings also support take-home bags as a nonintrusive intervention that helps families understand how to engage in mathematical play.
Children’s block building has long been a focus of psychological research, in part because block building skills are thought to be useful indicators of other abilities such as representational thinking. Block building skills are assumed to progress through developmental stages and a number of measures have been developed to assess these skills. In this article, we critically review the literature on two topics related to children’s block building. First, we examine the literature on developmental changes in block play with a focus on the approximate age trends for various block construction abilities. Second, we provide an overview of the scales used to assess block construction complexity such as the Block Building Measure, Building Performance Coding, and Block Structure Complexity Scoring Instrument and propose a conceptual model of the skills involved in block building. Based on this review, we recommend ways to refine existing research methods, improve scale validity, and combine different indices to establish a more comprehensive measure of children’s block construction.
Full-text available
Block building is a popular play activity among young children and is also used by psychologists to assess their intelligence. However, little research has attempted to systematically explore the cognitive bases of block-building ability. The current study (N = 66 Chinese preschoolers, 32 boys and 34 girls; mean age = 4.7 years, SD = 0.29, range = 3.4 to 5.2 years) investigated the relationships between six measures of spatial skills (shape naming, shape recognition, shape composition, solid figure naming, cube transformation, and mental rotation, with the former four representing form perception and the latter two representing visualization) and block-building complexity. Correlation results showed that three of the four measures of form perception (shape naming, shape recognition, and shape composition) were significantly and positively correlated with block-building complexity, whereas the two measures of visualization were not. Results from regression models indicated that shape recognition and shape composition, as well as shape-recognition-by-gender interaction, were unique predictors of children's block-building complexity. These findings provide preliminary evidence for the basic spatial skills underlying children's block-building complexity and have implications for classroom instructions aimed at improving preschoolers' block-building complexity.
The chapter reviews previously published articles and summarizes trends in STEM research in early childhood education over the last twelve years (2000-2012) by employing a content analytic procedure. The specific purposes of the study are to determine the general characteristics of the STEM research in early childhood education, to identify the research designs being applied in articles, and to reveal the common research topics/issues on STEM education in the field of early childhood education. A total of 41 articles are extracted from a wide range of publications. Thematic analysis reveals two main themes and nine subthemes on research topics/issues, including policy, management, equity issues, STEM schools, theories, models, professional development, teacher support, program development and evaluation, learner and teacher attributes, and pre-service teacher education.
Parents and early childhood educators share a unique role in scaffolding the acquisition of foundational mathematical concepts in young children. Targeting early skill development is critical as differences in children’s early mathematical competence emerge as young as four years old, and these differences persist into formal schooling (e.g., Duncan et al. in Dev Psychol, 43(6):1428–1446, 2007). Skills in geometry and spatial sense represent one of the mathematical strands recommended by the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) in the United States that can be acquired by young children prior to formal schooling. This chapter introduces important differences in spatial talk and activities elicited during play by parents and early childhood educators both in the context of traditional 3-dimensional play (e.g., blocks and puzzles) environments and virtual 2-dimensional digital formats (e.g., iPads® and computers). Substantial literature reveals the important array of creative and educational experiences afforded through play and particularly manipulatives. This chapter reviews previous research and extends findings to digital contexts involving our youngest learners and discusses ways to capitalize on the affordances offered by both digital applications and traditional manipulatives to harness children’s spatial learning. We also examine the benefits and concerns about educational software programs (e.g., what makes educational software programs more or less effective) in general and in the context of mathematics education.
Most, if not all, geometry learned in the early years should be conceptual in nature, state Hiebert and Lindquist in Mathematics for the Young Child (1990). The authors point out that students need the opportunity to develop spatial sense, and they share the observation that “[t]oday, children are often able only to name selected examples of geometric figures.
The abstract for this document is available on CSA Illumina.To view the Abstract, click the Abstract button above the document title.
This study examined changes in the beliefs and instruction of 21 primary grade teachers over a 4-year period in which the teachers participated in a CGI (Cognitively Guided Instruction) teacher development program that focused on helping the teachers understand the development of children's mathematical thinking by interacting with a specific research-based model. Over the 4 years, there were fundamental changes in the beliefs and instruction of 18 teachers such that the teachers' role evolved from demonstrating procedures to helping children build on their mathematical thinking by engaging them in a variety of problem-solving situations and encouraging them to talk about their mathematical thinking. Changes in the instruction of individual teachers were directly related to changes in their students' achievement. For every teacher, class achievement in concepts and problem solving was higher at the end of the study than at the beginning. In spite of the shift in emphasis from skills to concepts and problem solving, there was no overall change in computational performance. The findings suggest that developing an understanding of children's mathematical thinking can be a productive basis for helping teachers to make the fundamental changes called for in current reform recommendations.
Relationships were investigated between mathematics learning, verbal ability, spatial visualization, and eight affective variables. Subjects were 1320 sixth through eighth graders. No sex-related differences over all schools were found for any cognitive variable. Females were significantly less confident of themselves in mathematics, and males stereotyped mathematics as a male domain higher than did females. Results were synthesized with those obtained at the high school level. Significant sex-related differences found in high school areas were not found in the same middle school areas. Where significant differences in achievement were found at both levels, they were accompanied by significant differences in many affective variables.
Pretend play is a pervasive behavior that has attracted considerable attention over the past decade. In the article, the research is reviewed in the context of the diverse theoretical orientations that have stimulated these efforts. The most productive theoretical positions tend to deal with selected aspects of the behavior (e. g., solitary or social pretense, developmental change, individual differences, environmental factors) rather than its entirety. Recent contributions have offered a refined account of developmental changes in pretense and an examination of the behavioral processes involved. Studies of individual differences suggest that pretense may reflect a stable personality trait, although evidence concerning antecedent factors is inconclusive. Training studies have demonstrated procedures for increasing spontaneous pretense, and some of these suggest a relation between enhanced play and improved performance on measures of social and cognitive functioning. Other procedures have been used to demonstrate a relation between pretense and creativity. Although outcome studies have become increasingly sophisticated, they pose numerous interpretive problems. Areas in need of further inquiry are discussed with respect to issues that require theoretical or empirical clarification.
This study examined the numeracy behavior of children in two nursery schools in Britain. Videotaped observations and field notes from children's free play sessions revealed that teacher intervention strategies (resource enhancement and thematic focusing) had a positive impact on the children's numeracy development. (MDM)
Compared areas of alternative dramatic play, using 12 children (aged 55–67 mo) who were observed in 15 20-min visits in a 12 × 14 ft playroom over a 3-wk period. The room was periodically redesigned so that types of environments signaled the kind of play that should go on in the area. Manipulation and construction, pretend roles, and large motor activity were encouraged by the materials available. Results indicate that the setting had an effect on the dramatic play of older preschoolers, but its influence was felt at the level of play themes; highly structured settings suggested specific roles and events, while areas that were neutral in their connotation supported a range of thematic narratives. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Comments on a report by L. J. Schweinhart et al (see record 1988-07790-001) that purports to show that preschoolers taught by direct instruction end up with twice the rate of delinquency of children who come through the program with which Schweinhart is affiliated. It is argued that Schweinhart's data (1) argue against a difference in delinquency rates, (2) do not show a statistically significant difference between the direct-instruction group and the child-centered nursery school group, and (3) were geared toward male delinquency. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
The aim of the study was to assess the effects of a previous play experience on a test of concept formation involving base four arithmetic. Twenty-four children from 10 to 12 years of age were divided into three groups of eight subjects each, matched on teachers' ratings of mathematical ability. A concept formation task was given as an initial measure of ability. Members of group one were permitted total autonomy as to which buttons they pressed on a specially designed toy whose operation embodied base four rules; members of group two were yoked to members of group one so that they observed the same sequence of information; members of group three had no experience with the toy. Each subject was then administered a further concept formation task which involved the same rules existing in the ‘toy.’ The results showed that group one gained a greater insight into the task and remembered the information more effectively in the short-term. Suggestions for further research are made.
The study examined the relationship between play and selected demographic variables (sex and SES) and kindergartners' achievement in prereading, language, and writing. Play was observed and ranked according to Smilansky's cognitive play categories. Prereading and language achievement were measured by the Metropolitan Reading Readiness Test; writing achievement was measured by students' word writing fluency. Sixty-five kindergartners (37 male, 28 female) were tested and observed in the classrooms over a four-week period. Multiple regression and ANOVA procedures were employed to determine the extent to which play, SES, and sex predicted student achievement. Play was a significant predictor of success on all three measures of achievement (p < .01). SES and sex appeared to have little influence on the prediction of achievement. There were significant main effects due to play for all achievement variables (p < .001). Post hoc analyses indicated that dramatic play had the most significant impact on play (p < .05). Pedagogical implications are made.
This report of the High/Scope Preschool Curriculum study traces the effects on young people through age 15 of three well-implemented preschool curriculum models—the High/Scope model, the Distar model, and a model in the nursery school tradition. Sixty-eight impoverished children in Ypsilanti, Michigan were randomly assigned to these three programs, attending them at ages 3 and 4. Fifty-four of the youngsters (79% of the original sample were interviewed at age 15. The mean IQ of the children who had attended these three high-quality preschool programs rose a dramatic 27 points during the first year of the program, from 78 to 105 (on the Stanford-Binet Intelligence Scale) and at age 10 was 92 (on the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children, or WISC). The three preschool curriculum groups differed little in their patterns of IQ and school achievement over time. According to self-reports at age 15, the group that had attended the Distar preschool program engaged in twice as many delinquent acts as did the other two curriculum groups, including five times as many acts of property violence. The Distar group also reported relatively poor relations with their families, less participation in sports, fewer school job appointments, and less reaching out to others for help with personal problems. These findings, based on one study with a small sample, are by no means definitive; but they do suggest possible consequences of preschool curriculum models that ought to be considered.
In accordance with major theories of handedness and brain organization, differential predictors for math achievement were found as a function of sex and handedness subgroups among eighth graders. Although there was no difference in absolute levels of performance as a function of either sex or handedness, predictive structures did differ. Regression analyses showed that spatial ability predicts math achievement for: (1) girls with anomalous dominance (non-right-handers and right-handers with non-right-handed relatives), and (2) all boys (independent of handedness group). In contrast, for the standard dominance girls who are right-handed with all right-handed relatives (considered strongly left-hemisphere dominant for language), spatial ability did not predict for math achievement. These findings occurred, even when scholastic aptitude and verbal achievement factors were controlled. It was concluded that further studies of sex differences in math achievement should consider subgroup differences within the sexes, based on handedness patterns.
This study investigates the sustained effects into kindergarten and grade 1 of Project Head Start for disadvantaged black children. Participation in generic Head Start programs was compared to both no preschool and other preschool experience for disadvantaged children in two American cities in 1969-1970. Incorporating both pretest/posttest and comparison group information, the study has advantages over other Head Start impact studies. Both preprogram background and cognitive differences were controlled in a covariance analysis design, using dependent measures in the cognitive, verbal, and social domains. Children who attended Head Start maintained educationally substantive gains in general cognitive/analytic ability, especially when compared to children without preschool experience. These effects were not as large as those found immediately following the Head Start intervention. Findings suggest an effect of preschool rather than of Head Start per se. Initial findings of greater effectiveness of Head Start for children of below average initial ability were reduced but not reversed. The diminution of effects over time, especially for low-ability children, may reflect differences in quality of subsequent schooling or home environment.
Conducted a benefit–cost analysis of a preschool education program for poor children based on a 25-yr follow-up study by J. R. Berrueta-Clement et al (1984). At the beginning of the program, Ss consisted of 128 African-American children and their parents, all of low SES. The children were born between 1958 and 1962. For follow-up at age 28 yrs, 123 of these children were available. Eight categories of potential effects of the program were identified for which the study provided measures and for which it was feasible to estimate monetary values. These were the program's cost, child care provided by the program, elementary and secondary education, adult education, higher education, employment, crime and delinquency, and public welfare. Results show that the preschool program accomplished its primary objective of improving the quality of life for children born into poverty and that the benefits exceeded the costs.
Social class and mental illness Intellectual growth in young chilo dr en
  • Hollingshead
  • F C Redlick
Hollingshead, A 8., & Redlick, F. C. (1958). Social class and mental illness. New York: J ohn Wiley & Sons. Isa acs, S. (1933 ). Intellectual growth in young chilo dr en. New York : Schocken.
S patia l ability as a pred ict or of math achieveme nt: Th e im portance of sex a nd handedness patterns
  • G Casey
  • L Peza Ris
Casey, G., Peza ris, L., & Nu t tal, M. (199 2). S patia l ability as a pred ict or of math achieveme nt: Th e im portance of sex a nd handedness patterns. Neu ropsych ologia, 30, 35-45.
Th e effects ofsoci od ramatic play on d isadvan taged preschool child ren
  • S Y Smilan
Smilan sk y, S. (1968). Th e effects ofsoci od ramatic play on d isadvan taged preschool child ren. New York : J ohn Wiley & Son s.
Th e effect of preschool ed ucation on math ach ievement. (ERIC Docum ent Reproduc-tion Se rv ice No
  • M Vondrak
Vondrak, M. (1996 ). Th e effect of preschool ed ucation on math ach ievement. (ERIC Docum ent Reproduc-tion Se rv ice No. Ed 399017).
Pretend play in chil dhood: An integrat ive review. Child Develop m ent
  • G Fein
Fein, G. (1981). Pretend play in chil dhood: An integrat ive review. Child Develop m ent, 52, 1095 -1118.
Th e child 's const ruction ofk nowl edge: Piaget for teaching chil-d ren . Wa shington, DC: National Association for the Education of Young Ch ild re n
  • G Forman
  • D Ku Schner
Forman, G., & Ku schner, D. (1984). Th e child 's const ruction ofk nowl edge: Piaget for teaching chil-d ren. Wa shington, DC: National Association for the Education of Young Ch ild re n. Gin sburg, H. P., Balfanz, R, & Gr een es, C. (1999 ).
McCarty scales of children's abi lities
  • D Mccarty
McCarty, D. (1972). McCarty scales of children's abi lities. Ne w York : Th e Psyc ho logica l Corporation.
Mathem atic s sens e makin g and role play in the nursery schoo l. Early Chi ld hood Devel-opmen t and Care
  • D Cook
Cook, D. (199 6). Mathem atic s sens e makin g and role play in the nursery schoo l. Early Chi ld hood Devel-opmen t and Care, 121, 55-65.
A lon gitudinal st udy oflea rning to use chi ldre n's th in kin g in m ath -ema tics in struct ion
  • M Fennema
  • A R Ca
  • R Franke
  • W Levi
  • R Empson
Fennema, M., Ca rpente r, A, Franke, R, Levi, W., J acobs, R, & Empson, J. (1996). A lon gitudinal st udy oflea rning to use chi ldre n's th in kin g in m ath -ema tics in struct ion. J ourn al for Research in Math-ematics Ed ucation, 27, 8-25.
Numb er in preschool and kindergar-ten
  • C Kamii
Kamii, C. (1982). Numb er in preschool and kindergar-ten. Wa sh ington, DC: Nat ional Ass ociation for th e Education of Young Chi ldren.
Mathematics and gen -der (pp. 60-95 ) New York : Teachers College Press Long-term effects of four presch ools: Sixth, seve nt h, a nd eight h grades
  • G Fennema
  • Lede
Fennema & G. Lede r (Eds.), Mathematics and gen -der (pp. 60-95 ). New York : Teachers College Press. Mill er, L., & Bizzell, R (1983). Long-term effects of four presch ools: Sixth, seve nt h, a nd eight h grades. Ch ild Develop ment, 54, 727-741.
Sex -related differ en ces in m athema ti cs ach ieve me n t a nd re-lated fact ors: A fu rt he r st u dy
  • E Fenn Em A
  • J She Rman
Fenn em a, E., & She rman, J. (197 8 ). Sex -related differ en ces in m athema ti cs ach ieve me n t a nd re-lated fact ors: A fu rt he r st u dy. J ourn al for R esearch in Mathem ati cs Educat ion, 9, 863-870.
Children 's dr amatic play
  • M K Dodge
  • J L Frost
Dodge, M. K, & Frost, J. L. (1986). Children 's dr amatic play. Ch ild hood E du cat ion, 62, 166-170.
Studies in th e developm en t of play beha vior in young ch ild ren bet ween th e ages ot two and six . Unpub lish ed doctora l di ssertation , Bir mi ngham Unive rs ity As the twig is bent: Lasti ng effect» of preschool programs
  • Lu Nzer
Lu nzer, E. A (1955 ). Studies in th e developm en t of play beha vior in young ch ild ren bet ween th e ages ot two and six. Unpub lish ed doctora l di ssertation, Bir mi ngham Unive rs ity, London. Lu zar, E. (1981). As the twig is bent: Lasti ng effect» of preschool programs. Hillsdale, NJ : Consortiu m for Longitudinal Studies.
Intern al in fluences on ge nder differences in mathematics
  • M Meyer
  • M Er
Meyer, M., & Koehl er, M. (1990). Intern al in fluences on ge nder differences in mathematics. In E.
The complete book of children's play Th e block book
  • R E Hartley
  • L Frank
  • R M Goldenson
Hartley, R E., Frank, L., & Goldenson, R M. (1957). The complete book of children's play. New York: Crowell. Hirsch, K (1996 ). Th e block book. Wash ington, DC: Na tiona l Associatio n for th e Education of Youn g Children.
Spatial representat ion in block construction. P ap er presented at annual meeting of the
  • S Reifel
Reifel, S. (1996b). Spatial representat ion in block construction. P ap er presented at annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association, Montreal, Ca nada. Schweinhart, L., Weikart, D., & Lamer, M. (1986).
Significant benefits: Th e High/Scope Perry Preschool st udy th rough age 27. Monographs of th e High Las ti ng differ en ces: The High/Scope presch ool curriculum compa riso n study through age 23. Monographs of th e High
  • L J Schweinhart
  • V Barnes
  • D P Art
  • W S Barnett
  • A S Epstein
Schweinhart, L. J., Barnes, V., & Weik art, D. P., with Barnett, W. S., & Epstein, A. S. (1993). Significant benefits: Th e High/Scope Perry Preschool st udy th rough age 27. Monographs of th e High/Scope Educational R esearch Foun dation, 10. Schw einhart, L. J., & Weikart, D. P. (1997). Las ti ng differ en ces: The High/Scope presch ool curriculum compa riso n study through age 23. Monographs of th e High / Sco pe Educat ional R esearch Fou ndation, 12. Se vigny, K. E. (1987 ). Th ir teen years after preschool: Is th ere a d ifference?(E RIC Docum en t Reprod uction Service No. ED 299287).
Sex -rel ated differ ences in ma t h-em a tics : An ove rview Ex -pla in in g sex-re la te d differences in mathem atics: Th eoretical modes
  • G Leder
Leder, G. (1985). Sex -rel ated differ ences in ma t h-em a tics : An ove rview. In E. Fen nem a (Ed. l, Ex -pla in in g sex-re la te d differences in mathem atics: Th eoretical modes. Educational Studies in Math -ematics, 16, 303-320.
Gend er differences in mathem atics: A syn thesis
  • G Leder
  • E Fenn Em A
Leder, G., & Fenn em a, E. (1990 ). Gend er differences in mathem atics: A syn thesis. In F. Fennema & G. Led er (Eds.), Mathem a tics and gende r (pp. 188-199). New York: Teachers Colleg e Press.
The Montessori meth od
  • M Montessori
Montessori, M. (19 12). The Montessori meth od. New York : Sch ocken Books.
Are Head Start effects s ustained? A longi-tudin al follow-up compa rison of disadvan taged chil-dren atte ndi ng Head Sta rt, no pr eschool , a nd ot her prescho ol pr ogr ams
  • V Lee
  • J Brooks-Gunn
  • Sch
  • E Ur
  • F Liaw
Lee, V., Brooks-Gunn, J., Sch n ur, E., & Liaw, F. (1990 ). Are Head Start effects s ustained? A longi-tudin al follow-up compa rison of disadvan taged chil-dren atte ndi ng Head Sta rt, no pr eschool, a nd ot her prescho ol pr ogr ams. Child Develop ment, 61, 495-507.
An a pplicatio n of Piaget's th eory to the conceptual iza tion of a preschool pro gram
  • C Kamii
Kamii, C. (1972 ). An a pplicatio n of Piaget's th eory to the conceptual iza tion of a preschool pro gram. In M. C. Day & R K Pa rker (Eds.), Th e preschool in action: Exploring the early child hood program (pp. 363-420 ). Boston: Allyn an d Bacon.
Facilita ting play: A m edium for promoting cognitive, socio-em otional and acad em ic developm ent in young chi l-dren
  • S Smilansky
  • L Sh Efatya
Smilansky, S., & Sh efatya, L. (1990). Facilita ting play: A m edium for promoting cognitive, socio-em otional and acad em ic developm ent in young chi l-dren. Gai thersburg, MD : Psycho soci al & Educational Publications.
Th e cogn itively orien ted curriculum: A framework for preschool teacher s. Urbana, IL: Unive rs ity of Illinois Press School for young child ren : Developm entallyappropriateprac-tices
  • D P Weikart
  • L Rogers
  • C Adcock
  • D Mcclelland
Weikart, D. P., Rogers, L., Adcock, C., & McClelland, D. (1971). Th e cogn itively orien ted curriculum: A framework for preschool teacher s. Urbana, IL: Unive rs ity of Illinois Press. Wolfgan g, C. H., & Wolfgang, M.E. (1999 ). School for young child ren : Developm entallyappropriateprac-tices. Boston: Allyn and Bacon.
Th e com plete block book. Sy ra-cuse , NY: Syra cuse Univ ersity P ress Block constr uction: Chi ldre n's developmental landma rk s in representation ofspace
  • E Provenzo
  • Wolfgang
  • Stannard
  • S And Jones Reifel
Provenzo, E. (1983). Th e com plete block book. Sy ra-cuse, NY: Syra cuse Univ ersity P ress. WOLFGANG, STANNARD, AND JONES Reifel, S. (1996a). Block constr uction: Chi ldre n's developmental landma rk s in representation ofspace. Young Child ren, 48, 61-67.